Last night I was invited to Come from Away The Musical at Comedy Theatre.
Last night’s performance was the first musical to open in Melbourne since March last year.
At the start of the performance, the Associate Director and Associate Writer gave a brief speech – saying there were five productions of Come From Away around the world, which had all ceased in days of each other last March. The writers have clocks on the wall set at different time zones – each from the countries of performance. They have recently just put the Melbourne, Australia time back up. They also thanked Melbournians for looking after each other through 105 days of lockdown, so we could come together again.
I had tears in my eyes then, and also when the audience cheered – several times.
The theatre wasn’t full. But the sounds of the clapping, cheering audience was resonant. Enormous. It was hard to imagine that we’d experience events like large scale live theatre again. But we can, and I’m so grateful.
Come from Away is based on a true story about the tiny town of Gander, in Newfoundland, Canada, who was the landing place for 38 planes that were diverted on 11 September 2001. It is a story of community, generosity and navigating the unknown, with brilliant dialogue, songs and music. The cast is wonderful.
This was my second time seeing Come From Away Australia – the first in July 2019. Of course I loved this just as much as last time, but this time had extra meaning. The themes are so fitting for now – especially the need to look after strangers. I had tears at several parts of the show, feeling very moved by the ordeal of those passengers who had “come from away” as well as the town’s generous spirit; but mostly for the reality of being able to do what we love again – thanks to Melbournians working so hard to get us here.
Today I’ve been listening to the soundtrack and also the audiobook about the true story. Obsessed!
Come from Away is now playing at the Comedy Theatre. Covid safe measures are being taken – social distancing, digital check in for contact tracing, and we were given complimentary Come from Away masks last night! An #Auslan interpreted show is on 13 February! The musical is also opening in Brisbane in March and Sydney in June. Details on the Come from Away Australia website.
Thanks for having us, Come From Away! It was a delight!
1. Woman with a red face and short dark curly hair wearing a floral dress and floral mask, standing in front of a large Come from Away banner – it’s blue with a yellow world map.
2. The inside of the Comedy Theatre the building is beige with blue lights.
3. Woman with a red face and short dark curly hair wearing a floral dress and floral mask, standing in front of a backlit Come from away sign outside the theatre
4. The stage inside the theatre. It has chairs and logs on it
5. Two women standing in front of the Come from Away banner – wearing masks.